For Theo on this Seventh Year~
Every year I am faced with a blank page. Every year I sit and I try to figure out:
What can I say this year? What more can I say that I have not already said?
What is there to say that can possibly express the reality, the depth, the completeness of being saturated daily in this grief?
What can I say to honor your precious little life, present on this earth for 270 days?
8 months, 20 days.
You lived a lifetime in those weeks. We all did.
You were born a week before you were due, at 39 weeks, and you lived for 39 weeks.
Something in me wants to fold up into itself. A part of me wants to close my eyes and have none of this. To crawl into a deep cave and stay. To sink deep into the dark earth. But I know that I will not do that. I don’t even think I’m capable of it. It’s not in me. Sometimes I wish it were.
I get tired of this grief. So tired of the pain. It comes, and every time it does, I am surprised by it's intensity and it makes me tired. But really, it's always here. Who knows this about me? So often, only me it seems. But I cannot, would not, give it up. The grief is entwined with the love. There are the same, woven together and mirroring each other. Like the ocean to the sky.
One is not without the other.
But it does get heavy some days.
Days like this.
And some days that are nothing like this.
How impossible to explain to those who don’t know, what it’s like to carry this. And why I feel the need to continue to try and try and try. Again and again and again. And yet again.
I have worked to create this sacred space for you inside my heart that has your name engraved on it, tattooed upon it. The heart that grew anew and belonged only to you when you came into this world. The heart that broke, split, and tore into ragged shreds when you left it. That heart remains broken, pieces sewn, patched, smoothed back, but forever rent.
Also forever open. I remain open to ensure your space, the openness where I hold you. Where you continue on, and where you remain a part of my life daily, a part of our family, irreplaceable.
My heart that holds every single memory, every caress, every inhalation of your sweet skin, every moment our eyes held each other’s gaze –deep, deeper than any ocean.
Every painful crack in the walls of that heart, created bit by bit, as I watched your little body ravaged by surgeries and staples and tubes and poisons and ultimately by the tumor that completely crowded out your beautiful little brain and took your life away.
But even in that, I know, I know you were there, your sweet spirit was always there. You are a force. Stronger than I could ever imagine or that I could ever be. You were then, you are now.
Your immensity when I think on it, humbles me. It gives me cause to wonder and be in awe of the fact that
Your spirit is that of a bodhisattva. An enlightened spiritual teacher, a wisdom-being, a love-being. And you are my son. I saw you shine, with my own eyes.
I saw you shine.
If I know nothing else, I know that.
And I know that you go on.
And because you do, I do.
Thelonius Luther Helbert Fueglein 05/26/2005~02/20/2006